Chennai: Battle lines were on Wednesday drawn for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls for 39 constituencies in Tamil Nadu with 845 candidates left in the fray.
On the last day of withdrawal today, a total of 61 candidates withdrew their nominations, leaving 845 in the contest. Apart from 789 men and 55 women, one transgender is also in the fray, a bulk of them are independents.
This is higher than the 823 contestants in 2009 and 571 in 2004.
Traditional arch rivals AIADMK and the DMK, who are generally the front runners would have to deal with a six-party alliance led by BJP, which is nurturing aspirations to make its presence felt in Tamil Nadu, as its leader Narendra Modi is eyeing the Prime Minister`s post.
Isolated in the state, Congress faces a challenge to clock some votes in its account to prove its strength as a national party, in which a handful of Central ministers from the state were a part.
Left parties too are in a similar boat as they parted ways with the AIADMK, believed to be mainly because of seat sharing agreement, which did not go well between them and the ruling party.
Aam Aadmi Party candidates would also be making their debut in the polls this time, with fight against corruption being their main plank for the polls.
Former Union Ministers A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran, T R Baalu of DMK, Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK, BJP state president Pon Radhakrishnan are amongst those contesting in the polls. Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram`s son Karti is contesting from Sivaganga constituency, which was represented by his father.